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SYFY WIRE Shadow and Bone

New Shadow and Bone BTS video reveals how cast learned to fight like a Grisha

By Vanessa Armstrong

The first season of Netflix’s Shadow and Bone dropped one week ago, and for those who’ve already watched and can’t get enough, now you get a behind-the-scenes clip of the cast learning how to fight in magical and non-magical ways.

The new Netflix video gives us a glimpse of the amount of training the cast had to do to get into Grishaverse shape.

Check it out here:

After a couple of quick cuts of the actors learning how to punch, the video spends a few seconds with Kit Young, who plays the gunslinging Jesper Fahey on the show. We see Young practicing with the stunt team and learning different moves with different guns. The end result of his work, as a longer video he posted on his Twitter account reveals, is very impressive. 

Young’s fellow Crows — Amita Suman, who plays the knife-throwing, acrobatic Inej, and Freddy Carter, who plays the cane-wielding Kaz Brekker — also had to train to get up to Grishaverse snuff. Suman not only learned how to use all of Inej’s different knives, but had to remember where she kept them all so she didn't forget to remove them once her day was over. Carter, for his part, had to learn how to use his cane as a weapon, something he did to great effect in the first season.

Shadow and Bone | BTS - Inej (Amita Suman)

Jessie Mei Li, who plays the Sun Summoner Alina on the show, also got to learn some hand-to-hand combat moves for her handful of fight scenes in the first season. Arguably the biggest brawler in the first season, however, was Mal, played by Archie Renaux. Mal got into more than one fight-to-the-death moment in Season 1, and Renaux said in the featurette that he had fight training, gun training, AND had to go on a diet before filming started.

And then there’s Ben Barnes. On the show, he plays the very serious and very powerful General Kirigan. To look the part, Barnes had to take a refresher course on horseback riding (apparently his training from his Westworld days didn’t stick). Barnes also mentioned at the end of the video that he and Renaux hit the gym a lot — what better way to get ready for a fight scene against each other, after all, than lifting weights and getting swol together?

Season 1 of Shadow and Bone is currently streaming on Netflix.